Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Issue Advertising & Our Spring Election...

Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Village Board

Issue advertising, such as that utilized most recently by the group Germantown Citizens United, is legal.  This is very apparent as we watch the state Supreme Court race unfold, as I mentioned earlier in this series.

It has been established that issue advertising, by what I'll call 'shadow groups' since these groups do not disclose the names of their contributors, is legal.  But, is it ethical?  In my opinion, shadow groups' advertisements are not ethical in the true sense of that word.  This is not to say that those they oppose nor those they may favor are unethical.  I'm not trying to make that leap. 

That having been said, I am disappointed when candidates do not attempt to distance themselves, although I do realize that some do and are disingenuous in those efforts.  Candidates would counter this argument by saying that they weren't named in any of the issue advertising.  In many instances that is accurate.  However, in a race with two contestants where one is castigated for previous or current positions, how can you not connect the dots and come up with the answer that the candidate unnamed was actually intended to be favored by the advertisement?  Just because that is legal does not make it right in my admittedly naive world view.

If one or a group believes so strongly in a position, why then must that person or group use this technique of hiding behind the law when it pushes a position.  There is a reason that keeps coming to mind for me; they don't want to be associated with the position or advertisement they are paying for, they just want the results it is intended to achieve.  That is, in and of itself, disingenuous in my world.

So, what am I going to do about all this?  I'm going to vote exactly the way I was going to vote before these things appeared in our community.  I had done my homework and made my decisions.  I hope that you have also done your homework and made your decisions.  And I really hope that you vote the way you had intended before these pieces found their way to your mailbox or telephone message system.

In my 'perfect' world, the contributors who hide behind the skirts of this admittedly legal effort would see their hopes dashed and be forced to admit their money was wasted.  Only if that occurs often enough will we ever be rid of such tactics..if then.

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